What is The Difference Between Trip Insurance and Travel Medical Insurance?

Learn What Each Type of Insurance Covers

Purchasing a travel insurance policy is one of the most important things travelers can do to mitigate the health, safety, and financial risks that accompany international travel. But understanding the difference between trip insurance and travel medical insurance can be challenging.

In this article, we break down the two types of insurance you may be considering: trip insurance and travel medical insurance. Is there a difference between the two? The answer is "yes."

WorldTrips uses these terms to refer to two different products that each come with their own specific benefits. Learning what each type of insurance covers, including how each can provide coverage during your trip, and what to look for in each policy could help you make the most appropriate choice for your upcoming adventure.


What is Trip Insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of short-term insurance that can protect the costs of your trip. It often includes coverage for trip cancellations, interruptions, lost baggage, missed connections, and other losses incurred while traveling. At WorldTrips, our original trip insurance plan is called Atlas Journey.

Trip insurance, is also referred to as trip protection insurance, or trip cancellation insurance, because trip cancellation coverage is a featured benefit for these types of policies. At WorldTrips, our Atlas Journey Premier, Preferred, and Economy plans include trip cancellation coverage.  

How Does Trip Insurance Protect My Trip?

Should your trip be canceled or interrupted for a covered reason, a trip insurance policy will reimburse you for the eligible prepaid and nonrefundable portions of your trip. Some examples of situations that are typically covered include a delay or cancellation due to weather or the injury, illness, or death of you, a travel companion, or a family member.  

Depending on the policy, trip insurance may also reimburse you for costs resulting from unexpected medical expenses, travel delays and inconveniences, and lost, damaged, or stolen luggage.

Trip insurance can help ease your travel worries as your trip approaches since you know that you’ve protected your investment. In fact, The CDC notes that travelers "may be more likely to avoid travel when sick if they know that their financial investment in the trip is protected."

Many travel insurance policies (like Atlas Journey) also provide multilingual, 24/7 travel assistance services so you know you have help navigating tough travel scenarios when you need it.

Which Trip Insurance Plan Should I Choose?

WorldTrips offers a variety of trip insurance plans for travelers seeking trip protection coverage. Each trip insurance plan offers its own specific set of coverages and benefits, so be sure to compare plans to see which works for your travel plans.

Designed for the budget-conscious traveler, Atlas Journey Economy Escape provides lower coverage limits in exchange for a lower premium.

Coverage Includes

  • Trip Cancellation – 100% of trip cost up to $10,000
  • Trip Interruption – 125% of trip cost
  • Baggage Damage or Loss – Up to $250 per article ($750 max)
  • Medical Evacuation & Repatriation of Remains – Up to $250,000
  • Pre-Existing Conditions – Exclusion waived if requirements met
  • No Optional Cancel for Any Reason Upgrade
Coverage: $ $ $ $
Cost: $ $ $ $
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What is Trip Interruption Insurance?

Trip interruption insurance, or post-departure insurance, is insurance that can be purchased on the day you leave for your trip or after you’ve departed. Sometimes the unexpected can cut your trip short after you’ve taken off, and trip interruption insurance could help you recoup some of your covered losses. 

Atlas On-The-Go® is WorldTrips’ trip interruption plan that offers next-day coverage for travel emergencies and mishaps like a missed connection, lost luggage, or the need to fly home early for a covered reason. 

Trip interruption insurance does not cover canceled trips since it only provides coverage for things that go wrong after you’ve departed. Atlas On-The-Go is only available for U.S. citizens and residents. It can help you through the unexpected with 24/7 emergency assistance, and it provides some medical coverage as well. 

What Should I Look for in a Trip Insurance Policy?

There are several important features to look for in a standard travel insurance policy. Consider the following recommended features as indicators of quality trip insurance coverage:

•    Trip cancellation coverage
•    Trip interruption coverage
•    Travel delay coverage
•    Lost, stolen, damaged, or delayed luggage coverage
•    Missed connection coverage
•    Travel inconvenience coverage
•    Emergency accident and sickness medical expense coverage
•    24/7 emergency travel assistance services 

What if I Need Additional Trip Insurance Coverage?

WorldTrips offers these optional upgrades for our Atlas Journey plans so you can tailor your coverage to your trip: 

•    Cancel for Any Reason
•    Interrupt for Any Reason
•    Adventure Sports coverage
•    Primary Medical coverage
•    Rental Car Damage and Theft coverage 
•    Medical Evacuation
•    Pet Care
•    Baggage
•    Rental Accommodations Protection
•    School Activities
•    Hunting and Fishing
•    Destination Wedding coverage  

*Note that upgrade availability varies by plan level and may vary by state of residency.


What is Travel Medical Insurance?

Travel medical insurance, also known as travel health insurance, is a type of short-term insurance designed to cover health care costs incurred outside of your home country. Covered costs could include expenses resulting from hospital room and board, an ambulance ride, emergency room care, surgery, and more.        

At WorldTrips, our primary travel medical insurance plan is referred to as Atlas Travel®. 

Depending on the particular policy, travel medical insurance may include additional coverage for medical evacuation, political evacuation, terrorism, crisis response, natural disaster, accidental death and dismemberment, and repatriation of remains, among other benefits.

*Note that some travel medical policies even include travel-related benefits such as coverage for trip interruptions, lost checked luggage, and travel delays.

What Are the Key Differences Between Trip Insurance and Travel Medical Insurance?

Trip Cancellation

Trip insurance may include trip cancellation coverage. Travel medical insurance is budget-friendly because it does not include cancellation coverage.

Medical Coverage

Trip insurance includes limited medical benefits, but travel medical insurance includes more medical benefits and overall higher medical coverage limits. 


Trip insurance is only available to U.S. citizens and residents, but it provides coverage in the U.S. and/or abroad. Travel medical insurance provides coverage to citizens of most countries, but only for trips abroad.

What Are The Benefits Travel Medical Insurance Provides?

Since the benefits of many standard healthcare insurance policies do not apply beyond the borders of your home country, a travel medical insurance plan can cover you for eligible medical expenses incurred while abroad.

For example, the CDC notes that medical evacuation costs can range from $25,000 to over $250,000. With a travel medical policy that includes an Emergency Medical Evacuation benefit, you could be covered up to the benefit maximum for the cost of transportation to the nearest hospital where you can receive treatment.

A travel medical insurance plan can help you avoid unnecessary financial risk, as it can provide coverages for unexpected medical expenses as well as emergency travel benefits.  Travel assistance services can help with access to provider referrals, travel document replacement, lost luggage assistance, and more. 

What Are My Travel Medical Insurance Options?

Both Atlas Travel plans provide international travel medical insurance coverage with the customary recommended benefits for travel medical insurance plans—plus the Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Crisis Response, and Personal Liability upgrades that are available for an extra fee on an Atlas Travel medical insurance policy. With Atlas Travel Premium, these upgrades are included. 

Atlas Travel Is Basic Coverage For Wherever You Journey Abroad

Atlas Travel is our standard travel medical insurance plan designed for single international trips. It is the most popular of our travel medical insurance plans. 

Atlas Premium Is Elite Coverage with Higher Benefit Limits

Atlas Premium provides the same benefits as our basic Atlas Travel Plan with higher coverage limits for many important benefits. It may be ideal for shorter trips. 

Other Travel Medical Insurance Plans

WorldTrips’ travel medical insurance plans are called Atlas Travel. Explore additional specialty travel medical plans designed for specific travel needs.

Atlas Group

Atlas Group® offers the same travel medical benefits and services as Atlas Travel insurance at a 10% reduced rate for groups or families of 5 or more. 

Atlas MultiTrip

For a travel medical insurance plan that covers multiple trips in one year, consider signing up for an annual travel medical insurance plan like Atlas MultiTrip™. 

Atlas Nomad

For the digital nomad that needs travel medical insurance while working outside of their home country, Atlas Nomads™ is a budget-friendly solution. 

Atlas America

U.S. visitors may require travel medical insurance to meet visa requirements. Atlas America® is designed specifically to meet the needs of visiting families, students, and workers. 

What Benefits Should Travel Medical Insurance Include?

There are several important features to look for in a travel medical insurance policy. Consider the following recommended features as indicators of quality travel medical insurance coverage. Our Atlas Travel plans include all of these features, but be sure to review the policies carefully so you know when these benefits apply and what situations are excluded. 

•    A variety of coverage maximum and deductible options
•    Hospital room and board, local ambulance, and intensive care unit coverage
•    Emergency medical evacuation coverage
•    Accidental death & dismemberment coverage 
•    Repatriation of remains coverage
•    24/7 emergency travel assistance services
•    Outpatient physical therapy and chiropractic care coverage
•    Emergency dental coverage
•    Political evacuation coverage
•    Terrorism coverage
•    Natural disaster coverage
•    Crisis response coverage
•    Personal liability coverage

Get a Quote for Trip Insurance
or Travel Medical Insurance from WorldTrips

Now that you understand the difference between trip insurance and travel medical insurance, you can explore our Atlas Journey and Atlas Travel plans to determine which would work for your upcoming adventure. 

Being prepared for the unexpected is a smart idea. Whether you’re worried about inclement weather cutting your trip short or an injury requiring medical attention, WorldTrips has plans that can provide coverage for either scenario. Get a quick quote for trip insurance or travel medical insurance today. 


WorldTrips is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies.

WorldTrips’ Atlas Journey, Atlas Cruiser, and Atlas On-The-Go trip protection insurance products are underwritten by Tokio Marine HCC’s U.S. Specialty Insurance Company (USSIC). USSIC is a Texas-domiciled insurance company operating on an admitted basis throughout the United States. Coverage is available to U.S. residents of the U.S. states and District of Columbia only. This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. Coverage may not be available in all states.

In the State of California, operating as WorldTrips Insurance Services. California Non-Resident Producer License Number: 0G39705

WorldTrips’ Atlas Travel Series and StudentSecure international travel medical insurance products are underwritten by Lloyd's. WorldTrips has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency, Ltd.